City in line for jobs boost from retail park approval

The site of the proposed retail park from above.
The site of the proposed retail park from above.

Major plans for a new retail park near Durham City are set to be approved by councillors next week.

Earlier this year, Angel Developments revealed plans to redevelop the former Kerry Foods site in the Dragonville area, which closed in 2012.

Under the outline proposals, the newly-named St Andrew’s Park site could be transformed into 5,398sqm metres of retail space spread over three units between Dragon Lane and Mcintyre Way.

The units will also be earmarked for “bulky goods” retailers such as DIY, furniture and flooring alongside a a 234-space car park and McDonald’s drive-thru.

The bid for the fast food eatery is subject to a seperate planning application.

As a whole, it’s hoped that the development will provide an economic boost to the area in terms of jobs and increased footfall.

On Tuesday, November 13, Durham County Council’s area planning committee will be asked to back officer recommendations to approve the plans.

Planners, in their report, argue the plans would “protect the vitality and viability of existing centres in the city centre and nearby district centres”.

The report adds: “The scheme would also provide for job creation at both the construction phase and once operational.

“The development would therefore contribute significantly to the economic and social dimensions of sustainable development.”

Due to the size and location of plans, the application could be sent to the Government for final approval.

In the event of the application not being called in, the decision will rest with planning heads at Durham County Council subject to a section 106 agreement being signed.

This could see the developer pay £137,500 towards the delivery of a link road which aims to ease congestion in the area.

Details around appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the development will also be approved by the council at a later date.

The meeting will begin at Durham County Hall at 1pm and for more information visit: democracy.durham.gov.uk

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service